As the initial shock over Google’s removal of popular news and entertainment site, Linda Ikeji blog, begins to wane, one of those instrumental to the shutdown of the site said Ms. Ikeji ignored his repeated complaints over copyright infringement and plagiarism.
Mukhtar Dan’Iyan, the Editor-in-Chief of US-based The 15 Past Eight Media Group, said he merely spoke up after the blog used his tweets about developments in the war against the Boko Haram insurgency without his permission.
“I spoke up about the unauthorised use of my intellectual property that was taken from my TL (time line),” Mr. Dan’Iyan, who tweets via @MrAyeDee, told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview, Wednesday.
“(I) filed a formal DMCA complaint to Google which hosted her site.
“One complaint is not enough. But safe to assume when Google looked through other examples of unauthorised IP usage and other IP owners filing complaints, it all added up.
“I emailed her (Linda Ikeji) repeatedly. And it was not the first time people had plagiarised my content, but usually, I reach out and they take it down,” Mr. Dan’Iyan added.
A Digital Copyright Millenium Act, DMCA, is an avenue to report content that you would like removed from Google’s services under applicable laws.
According to Mr. Dan’Iyan, Ms. Ikeji had used over 10,000 copyrighted pictures and stories over the past five years without the authorisation of the copyright owners.
Google took down the blog on Wednesday following multiple allegations of copyright infringement.
Ms. Ikeji did not respond to our enquiries Wednesday.
Mr. Dan’Iyan’s accusations and subsequent threats of organising a class action against the popular blogger drew the ire of the numerous fans who accused him of envy and hate.
In her response on Tuesday to the accusations, Ms. Ikeji dismissed the plagiarism allegations and accused Mr. Dan’Iyan of using another name, Emmanuel Efremov, to stalk her, as well as register almost ten of her domain names.
But Mr. Dan’Iyan said Mr. Efremov is one of the directors in his company.
“15Past8.com has owners like any other company. He’s one of them,” Mr. Dan’Iyan said.
“Emmanuel (Efremov) has never tried to sell anything to Linda, nor has he ever demanded any sort of money from her. In fact, I doubt he’s ever had any interaction with here even in passing.”
Efforts to reach Google on Wednesday were not successful.
While the class action against Ms. Ikeji (whose blog is still ranked No. 10 on the Alexa rankings of Top 500 sites in Nigeria) and Google is still gathering momentums, Mr. Dan’Iyan said he had backed out.
“People are sending stuff in, but hopefully, when she bounces back, as I know she will, she will be the paragon of accountability when it comes to using material,” he said.
“In other words, she’ll only use that which she got permission for, this way tempers would cool and lawsuit won’t proceed by aggrieved parties (of which I am no longer one).
“Personally, I want Linda to win and win big. Her story is a huge inspiration to many, and should continue to be, as long as she does things the right way.”